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Thread: "The Ultimate History Of Video Games" Book

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) PDorr3's Avatar
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    Default "The Ultimate History Of Video Games" Book

    While visiting the moving image museum in Astoria (they have a nice small arcade section w/ some old arcade machines to play) I purchased the Ultimate History of Video Games book from the gift shop. It is about 600-700 pages long, basicaly a novel w/ a few pics and ALOT of quotes within it. Era from before pong up until current. I am almost 100 pages in and I find this book highly entertaining and funny at some points, really fun to read. I was wondering if any of you have read this book and what you think of it? Right now I am up to where the home version of pong is released, alittle bit after that. If you have not read this book yet I HIGHLY reccomend it for anyone on this board.

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    Alex (Level 15)
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    Indeed, GREAT book. That one and Herman's 'Phoenix' are the two MUST READ books on the history of console games.

    I'm reading 'High Score' right now, which is the must read book on the history of computer games.
    "Four o'clock and all is well.....wish I was in bed, Sir."
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    ServBot (Level 11) Kejoriv's Avatar
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    Yea that book is great. It gives great insight to the video game industry and the businesses.I read it last summer and was very happt with it. I am going to buy High Score this weekend.

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    Good book I read it through a couple of times. A must have for any gamer.
    Sorry Ryan, but your girlfriend is in another school.

    Video games & manga (my manga scanlation group that scanlates video game manga) http://www.north101.net/Chara/vgm/index.html

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    funny, i was just reshelving my game books...

    UHVG is a great book and its been lauded many times here and over at atari age, nitpickers will note some errors but its seems thats the publisher not the author controlling revisions. if that book had been in full color i would give it 4 stars.

    High Score (2cnd ed) is a well meaning mess, lots of great pictures and the writers are no dummies but its not what the cover promises. i dont even think these guys really play console games, why else would they give a scant half a page of text to major consoles like the saturn? it as stated above basically a book about PC game companies, and it does this in a messy chrono/company bio order, you never know what decade it will bleed into. heres the basic premise- some silicon valley husband and wife team create a DOS adventure game, from kitchen table to PC publishing power house, repeat this story til every bit of novelty is worn out of it. i honestly think they wanted to write a PC games book and their editor made them throw in a few pages about consoles to broaden the market appeal, its clear their hearts arent in it.

    i'd honestly reccomend the billy galaxy book or even supercade over it, ahh well i'm still gonna read that last chapter, its on my night stand. if you dont yet own the dp guide throw your $ that way instead, theres more console info in the section intros alone.
    NEW ENGLAND CLASSIC GAMING-NEXT TRADEMEET pretty soon... IN BOSTON

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    I highly recommend this book, which is a favorite of mine. You may find this document of interest, which is errata and commentary for the book.

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    ServBot (Level 11) tom's Avatar
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    can someone please post the ISBN for UHVG?

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    Default Midnight Tiger

    I saw earlier today Midnight Tiger(Atari 2600 history book?) being available at atari 2600.com. Has anyone read this? Is it good? I agree with the above posts. Phoenix is my favorite. There is also Joystick Nation which is also good.
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    I have the following books:

    The Ultimate History of Video Games
    Phoenix
    Arcade Fever
    Game Over
    Supercade
    Joystick Nation
    High Score

    I really enjoy almost all of the above titles for different reasons, although I do have mixed feelings about High Score as stated above by Christian Scott. Skip over Joystick Nation, unless you like pseudo-intellectual essay babbling. I tried reading that book several times over the past couple of years, but I couldn't make it past the stilted writing style. I used to like that kind of essay, but I can just see through the intellectual phoniness now. And I spotted at least one blatant factual mistake in her book. Steve Wozniak never worked at Atari, unlike what she claims. He was working at HP when he gave Steve Jobs (who was the one working at Atari) a hand with Breakout.

    Another book to avoid is Zap (about the history of Atari). Badly written and inacurate when it was first published, same problem when it was republished a couple of years ago, as it wasn't a new edition, but just a reprint.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom
    can someone please post the ISBN for UHVG?
    0-7615-3643-4

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianscott27
    UHVG is a great book and its been lauded many times here and over at atari age, nitpickers will note some errors but its seems thats the publisher not the author controlling revisions.
    This is true. Steve Kent signed away all rights to the book to Prima. Any revisions is strictly they're doing.
    Leonard Herman
    The Game Scholar
    Publisher of Historical Videogame Books
    http://www.rolentapress.com
    Phoenix 4 coming in 2014

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    Thanks, guys... I was recently thinking of getting some books like this. Just made a trip to Amazon, and picked up

    UHVG
    Supercade
    Arcade Fever, by John Sellers. It was $6.50 used...
    Need. More. Games.

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    I really like Arcade Fever. It's not the most informative nor is it the most exhaustive book on the subject, but it's a fun trip through one man's favorite all-time arcade classics. And the layout is nice to look at, too. One last plus: it does have a short interview with Nolan Bushnell, with Eugene Jarvis and with Buckner & Garcia.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    My collection:

    Supercade. Quite excellent. The hardcover edition feels especially solid. Where is the promised follow-up 1984-now???

    Arcade Fever

    High Score

    Zap: The Rise and Fall of Atari

    The First Quarter (Is it worth getting UHVG even though I own this??)

    Phoenix(2nd Edition)

    Trigger Happy. Interesting and clever(mostly).

    Video Game Bible

    Digit Press Guide 7

    Sega Consumer History. Excellent pictures. Impressive number of games, and a spreadsheet in the back of every game for a Sega system released ever!!!!!! Too bad it is in Japanese.

    Sega Arcade History. Great pictures. So many arcade machines. So many memories.

    Yu Suzuki Gameworks vol. 1

    Fami Complete.

    ---------------------------------------

    There was a new book on videogames released just recently called simply Videogames, by someone named Newman. Amazon wants $65 for the hardcover so I was wondering if it is any good??

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    Pretzel (Level 4) rolenta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parodius
    There was a new book on videogames released just recently called simply Videogames, by someone named Newman. Amazon wants $65 for the hardcover so I was wondering if it is any good??
    Accoding to the publisher's website, the book will be available on March 22 and there will be a paperback edition for $16.95.

    Here's info on the book:

    James Newman's lucid and engaging introduction guides the reader through the world of videogaming, providing a history of the videogame, from its origins in the computer lab to its contemporary status as a global entertainment industry, with characters such as Lara Croft and Sonic the Hedgehog familiar even to those who've never been near a games console. Newman introduces: What is a videogame?; Why study videogames?; a brief history of videogames, from Pac-Man to Pokemon; the videogame industry; who plays videogames?; are videogames bad for you?; the narrative structure of videogames; and the future of videogames. Newman traces the battle for nce among key players such as Atari, Nintendo and Sega, explains how new videogames are developed and produced, and outlines research into the effects of videogaming on players, challenging the popular notion that too much Playstation is bad for your health.


    Contents:
    1. Why would anybody study videogames? (And just what is a videogame anyway?) 2. A brief history of videogames: from the computer lab to the mass market 3. The videogames industry: manufacturing fun 4. Videogame players: who plays, for how long and whats its doing to them? 5. The structure of videogames: levels, breaks and the importance of non-interaction 6. Videogame characters: will the real Super Mario please stand up 7. Adventures in videogames spaces: exploration, navigation and mastery 8. Videogames and stories/videogames as stories: ludology vs narratology 9. Social gaming: competition and collaboration on and off screen 10. Future gaming: Online? Mobile? Retro? Where next for videogames


    Series Information:
    Routledge Introductions to Media and Communications


    Full Contributors:
    Contributors: Mia Conslavo, Chris Crawford, Patrick Crogan, Markku Eskelinen, Miroslaw Filiciak, Gonzalo Frasca, Walter Holland, Henry Jenkins, Kurt Squire, Torben Grodal, Alison McMahan, Bernard Perron, Bob Rehak, Ragnhild Tronstad, Mark J. P. Wolf
    Leonard Herman
    The Game Scholar
    Publisher of Historical Videogame Books
    http://www.rolentapress.com
    Phoenix 4 coming in 2014

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parodius
    The First Quarter (Is it worth getting UHVG even though I own this??)
    I second this question.

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    Got my books yesterday and started reading Supercade.

    Interesting link in there for the first "non pong" video game, called SpaceWar!

    Check it out:

    http://lcs.www.media.mit.edu/groups/...ects/spacewar/
    Need. More. Games.

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    Bell (Level 8) Cafeman's Avatar
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    THe Last Quarter is the same exact book as The Ultimate History of Video Games, isn't it? The only thing that might be different are a few of the very obvious errors in it, but I can't remember ever reading about any real content fixes in the 2nd edition with the new name.

    I've only read this The Last Quarter, and Leonard Herman's Phoenix. Both are must reads and very different in format from each other. In fact, didn't Steve use Phoenix as a reference while writing Last Quarter?

    Here's a link to an interview with Steve Kent, conducted not long after the book was published. Interesting behind-the-scenes stuff, I've always thought.

    http://www.gaming-age.com/cgi-bin/sp...kent&pagenum=1

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    Just resurrecting this thread because I picked The Last Quarter up at Goodwill a couple months ago and am reading it now. It is a lot of fun, and I don't normally go for non-fiction. It has a bunch of obvious editing mistakes, but then I found the following quote from the author, which explains:

    I want to thank the people who were so kind in their reviews.

    The First Quarter has been re-released as THE ULTIMATE HISTORY OF VIDEO GAMES by Prima Publishing. This new version of the book includes an additional chapter, a time line, the oft-requested index, additional art, and above all--PROFESSIONAL EDITING.

    As stated in many reviews, The First Quarter suffered from my lack of editing skills. I self-published that book. While my writing skills may be questionable, my editing abilities are indisputably bad.

    Finally, I want to thank the people who bought my book and read it. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing my enthusiasm for video games.



    anyone else reading this book lately?

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornelius View Post
    It is a lot of fun, and I don't normally go for non-fiction.
    Man, you're missing out...

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